Letters to the editor for Thursday, May 1, 2014
April 30, 2014
All U.S. citizens, not the BLM, own Nevada's lands
Guy Farmer perpetuated a belief that the BLM owns much of Nevada's land. The BLM does not "own" the land, we do — all U.S. citizens. The BLM manages most of these lands, and some are managed by other agencies. The public lands are managed for a variety of uses — energy and minerals, logging, municipal watershed, ranching, wildlife habitat, and recreation.
Those of us who live in Nevada have easy access to these lands for boating, hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, and riding ATVs. Not a day goes by that I don't feel fortunate to live next to public lands. BLM's management practices are certainly not without controversy, but how could they not be with so many competing interests? Does anyone out there truly believe they could manage these lands without controversy? Some say these lands should be given to the state to manage; but the state could not afford to manage them without raising taxes, so the state would most likely sell off the lands to private interests. Then the "Public Lands" signs would be replaced by "No Trespassing" signs.
Cliven Bundy is a man who has used our public lands for many decades for his own personal gain with no compensation to the taxpayers. Shame on those who call this freeloader a "patriot." If any of us stopped paying our taxes, would we too be labeled patriotic? There are many ways to get involved in the shaping of land management policy. But defending this deadbeat is definitely not the American way.
Why do the feds own any public land at all?
I fully understand that, as the law reads, the ranchers in Southern Nevada are in the wrong. However, all laws nowadays aren't for the good of the people. Obamacare and the tax laws are great examples of that.
I just don't understand why the federal government owns any land at all. Yes, we need military bases, interstate highways and such, but the Feds should be required to purchase that land from the states or private owners, at a current and fair price, just as everyone else does. The national parks may fall into the same category as military installations, but even they could be run and owned by the states. All federal land should instead be owned by the individual state in which it lies! Get the federal government out of the real estate business!
As to the desert tortoise that may be a little upset by cattle grazing, I have a solution for that, too — make turtle soup and distribute it to the hungry legal American citizens! Common sense must once again prevail!